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Use a Smartphone to Get Moving

Posted by jon on May 08, 2014 No responses

More than 50 percent of American adults have smartphones. Not only do we have them, we’re kind of obsessed with them. According to a study by application monitoring service New Relic, we check our smartphones 150 times a day.

What important business are we all conducting that requires us to check our phones more than one hundred times every single day?

Well, the same study reports that 43 percent of the time we’re playing games, 26 percent of the time we’re social networking and a measly one percent of the time we’re using health and fitness apps.

Imagine if some of those percentages were reversed. What if we played Candy Crush only one percent of the time and tracked our health and fitness more than 40 percent of the time? Well, let’s try it and see.

Download these health and fitness apps recommended by Gallatin Civic Center certified personal trainers, Paul Jack and Rachel Griggs:

MyFitnessPal (MFP). This food and exercise tracker is Jack’s number one choice. He’s not alone in his MFP excitement. A recent news.com article ranks this app in the top 5 of all apps—it’s up there with Facebook, Google Maps and the general News app.

What’s the big deal? It’s been around a while so the developers have had time to work out the kinks and stack their food database with more than 3 million entries, which makes it easy to pinpoint and document your intake. Aside from its robust food tracker, MFP offers a database of workouts so you can easily track your caloric output as well.

By tracking your nutrition and exercise activity, then coupling it with your personal metrics like height and weight, MFP sets goals for you based on your desired health and fitness outcomes. If you’re looking for a well-rounded health and fitness app, this one’s for you.

Gym Hero. This exercise tracker is Griggs’s top suggestion. It allows you to add unlimited exercise routines to your account and track your sets and reps. With that information, Gym Hero delivers easy reports that let you know how you’re doing and then suggests modifications that will ensure you’re constantly training in high gear.

Gym Hero stands against other exercise trackers because it’s really easy to use. It’s designed so you can focus on your workout rather than fooling with your app. It achieves this usability through features like smart exercise mode and autofill, which remember your preferences to predict and automatically chart your activities. If you’ve hit a workout plateau, download Gym Hero. It will pinpoint the logjams thwarting your success and give you the information you need to jump the gridlock.

Looking for a few more suggestions? Here are two health and fitness apps I use and enjoy:

Pact. If you’re like me, accountability is key when it comes to health and fitness. This app keeps me honest by giving me a simple ultimatum—Either you work out when you say you’re going to work out, or you pay. Here’s how it works:

You set your health and fitness goals for the week and establish what you’ll pay other Pact members if you don’t fulfill your objectives. Then, you document your movement toward your goals through the app. The cool thing is, if you do what you say you’re going to do, you get paid. If you fulfill your pledges, you earn cash from members who didn’t live up to their commitments. Now it really does pay to work out.

Get Running. This is a couch to 5K app—meaning, even if your daily activity consists of watching Lifetime originals while munching on bonbons, you’re equipped to participate in this app’s non-threatening running regimen. How? Get Running meets you where you are and paces you through running intervals. It’s not about speed, but about gradually increasing your stamina so you can eventually run a 5K with ease.

Although I’ve always been pretty active, I’ve never been a runner—until I downloaded this app. It’s taken the monotony and struggle out of running. My advice: Download it, and then make your way to one of Gallatin’s parks. The beautiful scenery will undoubtedly enhance your jog and leave you ready to “Get Running” again.

*Originally published in the Gallatin News

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